Kalitta was killed when his Funny Car burst into flames and crashed during the 4th and final round of qualifying for the Lucas Oil NHRA SuperNationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park. Kalittaâ€™s car was traveling at around 300 miles per hour when the engine of his funny car exploded into flames.
Slow motion replay of the run shows something goes wrong with the engine as the exhaust on the left side of the car appears amiss. When the engine let go, it exploded creating a fireball and breaking the car body in half around the hood and windshield area. The body lifted off the car in flames and flew back as the car continued down the track. Replay shows a continued fire as the car slowed slightly but not enough. The parachutes were torched and did little to stop the car. The car continued down the track, went through the sand, over some dirt, through a fence, and hit the wall shooting the car into the air into hundreds of pieces. An immediate fireball enveloped the car as part landed in the woods and part appears to land on the camera tower. 
The NHRA said on Kalitta's passing that â€œScott shared the same passion for drag racing as his legendary father, Connie. He also shared the same desire to win, becoming a two-time series world champion. He left the sport for a period of time, to devote more time to his family, only to be driven to return to the drag strip to regain his championship form."